Carson City woman nominated as CNN Hero of the Year

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - A Carson City woman has been nominated for 2018 CNN Hero of the year, and public votes will help determine her success. The winner
gets $100,000 to continue his or her community work, and will be featured in a CNN broadcast Sunday, December 9.

Photo courtesy CNN

Florence Phillips is founder of the English as a Second Language (ESL) In-Home Program of Northern Nevada.

Vote for Florence Phillips here. You can vote up to ten times a day.

According to a release, she "saw a desperate need in the community, and created a program to increase literacy in adults, especially those who do not speak English at all, and those who speak English as a second language in order to improve the lives of those who struggle with literacy issues within their family, workplace, and community. Florence served 3 tours of duty as a Peace Corps Volunteer in 3 different countries, where she learned first, how difficult it is for a foreigner to learn the local language, and to be able to understand the locals, especially if you are simultaneously working. When she returned home to the United States, she resolved to do her part by eliminating the obstacles that foreign-born residents encounter. She began tutoring a woman in English. Soon the demand for her help grew to be much more than she could handle and she recruited others to help her. Thus, the ESL In-Home Program of Northern Nevada was born. The challenge that our organization focuses on is helping low income families become more literate, to become active members of their community, and to help reduce financial instability and disparity among non-English speaking residents. The majority of our students are Hispanic immigrants, most of whom are mothers with multiple children."

The ESL In-Home Program of Northern Nevada was founded in 2004 in Carson City and established as a 501(c) 3 organization in 2008 to increase literacy in adults, especially those who speak English as a second language, and to improve the lives of those who struggle with literacy issues within their family, workplace, and community.

According to a release, "This program is unique in that it offers a "lifeline" to adults who are unable to attend formal classroom settings due to physical disabilities, limited or no transportation, lack of funds for childcare, job constraints, or intimidation.The program is a non-profit volunteer service organization. After we train community volunteers they teach on a one-on-one basis or in small groups of 2-5, providing the opportunity for the student to progress at a faster pace by giving personalized attention. They teach in the student's or tutor's home or at public sites at mutually convenient times for tutor and student. We teach English as a Second Language (ESL), Workplace Communication, Computer and Financial Literacy, GED preparation and U.S. Citizenship study. Since its inception 14 years ago, our organization has grown from one student to 466 students currently being tutored by 230 volunteer tutors in five counties of Northern Nevada: Carson, Douglas, Washoe, Lyon, and Churchill Counties. There is no cost to the student."